Our Commitment to Contract-holdersWe want you to feel comfortable and safe in your new rental home. For that reason, we make it our policy only to let properties which meet a high standard of cleanliness, maintenance and safety. Our aim is to ensure peace of mind throughout the tenancy, and on the day that you vacate we will apply the same high inspection standards to our check-out procedure. Security deposits are protected with an authorised scheme and photographic inventories are in place to safeguard all parties.
We know you will have some searching questions for us, so as a starting point, we have included below our guide to the most frequently asked…
I am looking for a property in the local area - where do I start?The first step is to contact us, providing brief details about yourself and about the type of accommodation you are looking for. We can search our database for suitable properties for you to view, or if you have seen a property of interest on our website or property portals - let us know the reference number and description. We can answer any questions you may have and can schedule a viewing for you.
- It is wise to start looking about a month before you wish to move, as properties are generally viewed and reserved quickly. We will arrange viewings at a time to suit you wherever possible. You will be accompanied by a member of staff who can give advice and answer any questions you may have.
Are there any restrictions on Contract-holders?Contract-holders must be over 18 years of age. All adults occupying the property on a permanent basis must be named on the tenancy agreement. There may be individual restrictions applicable to the property such as no smoking or pets, dependent on owner requirements. These will normally be made clear on the property advertisement.
- As a general rule we will require you to be in receipt of a monthly income equivalent to 2.5 times the rental amount in order to qualify for an Occupation Contract. Our contracts are normally granted for a minimum term of either 6 or 12 months, dependent on Landlord requirements.
How much security deposit is required?A security deposit (sometimes known as a ‘bond’) equivalent to 1.5 month's rental must be paid on moving into the property, and will be held in an appropriate deposit protection scheme throughout the occupation contract term. This is held to cover damage, breakages, and any other liabilities under the terms of your occupation contract. The dated photographic inventory taken at start of your contract is always available for you to consult if you have any queries on property condition. When you vacate the property, we will carry out a check-out appointment in order to assess the amount of deposit that should be returned.
Do I need references?We will require satisfactory references from your employer, and a previous or current landlord if you have been renting. We may also require a guarantor in certain cases. A credit and previous address check will be undertaken by an independent referencing agent.
- We will ask for the full contact details (including address and landline telephone number) of your referee. We will not usually require you to provide written letters of reference.
How do I reserve a property?Once you have decided on a property and have the opportunity to place a holding deposit to reserve, the holding deposit figure will be equivalent to 1 weeks’ rent (calculated by dividing rental figure by 4.35). You will be issued with a Contractual Agreement which you will be asked to sign. This forms a binding contract for the reservation period.
When the Occupation Contract goes ahead,the holding deposit figure will be offset against the balance of monies due before you move in Please note that if the landlord declines to grant the tenancy, it will be refunded. However the deposit will be forfeit if you decide not to proceed for any reason, or if you fail to provide complete and accurate information in your application.
- The maximum period that a property can be held with a holding deposit is 15 days unless otherwise authorized by our agency in agreement with the landlord.
What is the next step?We will require you (and your guarantor if applicable) to complete an application form, providing details of your current / previous addresses for the past 12 months, employment and salary details.
We will also require proof of residency and proof of identity.
- For residency we will accept a recent (within the last 3 months) utility/ council tax/ mobile phone bill or a current tenancy agreement.
- For identity we require a photo style driving licence or passport. If you are not a UK citizen then you will need to provide evidence of official permission to live in the UK for the duration of the proposed contract term.
How long does the referencing process take?Referencing will normally take just a few days to complete, although in some cases it can take 1 week or more. This depends on the replies and speed of response from the people that need to provide the information. When we have completed referencing we will contact you to arrange a convenient date for move-in.
When can I collect the keys to my new home?Keys will be released on the commencement date of the Occupation Contract and on full payment of any outstanding balance. Payment can be made in cash on the day or by bank transfer to our client account. In the case of online transfer please ensure that this is completed at least 1 working day in advance to ensure all funds reach our account prior to the check-in appointment.
- Please allow up to 1 hour for the check-in appointment which may take place either at the Dragon office or at the property concerned. Paperwork will be finalised at this time, including the occupation contract and issuing bank standing order details for future rental payments. At this point you will receive the keys to the property. A Dragon member of staff will then accompany you to the property and run through the inventory copy, take meter readings and introduce you to any appliances or relevant safety features.
When is rent due and what else will I need to pay for?Rent is quoted per calendar month, and unless otherwise agreed is payable monthly in advance. All rents are payable by bank standing order. As Contract-holder you will usually be responsible for Council Tax and any Utility bills (e.g. Water, Gas, Electricity and Telephone / Broadband costs) unless otherwise stated. Please click here to see further details of Contract-holder Payments.
- We strongly advise contract-holders to take out a Contents Insurance policy for the simple reason that whilst you occupy the property you will be responsible for much of the Landlord’s contents. It is far better to ensure that you are covered should any accidental damage occur than face the costs of replacing items. Policies will also usually cover personal possessions in case of break-in or accidental damage.
Who is responsible for arranging appliance or property repairs during the contract?Where we are managing the property, we will ensure that any repairs needed are dealt with on a prompt basis by one of our reliable team of local contractors. Simply contact our office to report the problem and we will arrange a suitable time for our engineer to call.
- It is important to report maintenance issues quickly so that they can be repaired without delay – should the problem cause the property to deteriorate and it has not been reported in good time there may be an associated cost to the contract-holder.
- Please note that if an appliance repair is required due to some negligence during usage (e.g. washing machine filters blocked by coins or other pocket debris!) then the engineer bill will be forwarded to the tenant for payment. Lightbulbs that require changing or batteries that need replacing are the contract-holder’s responsibility.
What happens at End of Contract Term or if I decide to vacate?When you are nearing the end of your initial fixed term period (normally 6 months) we will be in contact to check if you intend to continue with your Occupation Contract for the Property. In many cases, a second ‘periodic’ contract will run seamlessly once the fixed term has expired.
- If you decide to move on, you will need to give the appropriate legal notice period to vacate. We will arrange a check-out appointment for the day when you are due to hand back the keys and will supply you with our End of Tenancy guidelines covering all of the aspects which need to be addressed before leaving the property.
- It is important that you return the property to us in the same clean condition as it was received. If there is any cleaning to be done or any damage to the property or contents, these costs will need to be recovered from your security deposit. We make allowance for a level of normal wear and tear (e.g. small scuff marks on walls) but this does not apply to cleanliness or any areas which have undergone unusually heavy wear. It therefore makes sense to look after the property throughout the tenancy with a healthy regime of cleaning and general housekeeping, taking good care of the fittings and any furnishings.